Deloitte adds Singapore's Sabara Law to legal services network

20 November 2018 Consultancy.asia

Deloitte has upped the anti once again in the Asian legal services space with the addition of Singapore’s Sabara Law to the Deloitte Legal network.

Following Deloitte Legal’s recent launch of licensed foreign law practice Deloitte Legal International in Singapore to provide Southeast Asian clients with international legal services in areas such as commercial law, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and infrastructure, projects and project finance, the Big Four’s legal entity has now added Sabara Law to its network to gain local law capacity.

Established by current Managing Director and local legal veteran Yeoh Lian Chuan, Sabara joins a Deloitte Legal network now covering more than 80 countries through 2,400-plus legal professionals – led since 2014 by Global Managing Director and former Deloitte Netherlands CEO Piet Hein Meeter, who was this week named by the Financial Times as among the top ten individuals worldwide reshaping business through technology.

“My colleagues and I are excited to join the Deloitte Legal network, and to work closely with many other Deloitte professionals,” Lian Chuan said. “There is great potential to help clients solve a variety of complex challenges where different professionals work together as a team. The legal industry is also at an inflection point of sorts, and I look forward to tapping on Deloitte’s extensive experience in areas such as technology and process optimisation to service both traditional and new emerging legal needs differently.”Deloitte adds Singapore's Sabara Law to legal services network Prior to the establishment of Sabara Law and his role as Director at YLC Services & Consultancy, Lian Chuan served as a corporate advisor in the tax department for Singapore state investment firm Temasek (which recently bought Israeli cybersecurity startup Sygnia for a reported $250 million), before which he served as counsel with Allen & Overy for nearly nine years and was a partner at local ‘big four’ law firms Allen & Gledhill and Rajah & Tann during the previous decade.

According to Deloitte, Sabara Law will focus on fields “that are adjacent and complementary" to Deloitte’s international multi-disciplinary teams, while also working with Deloitte Legal International, which is in turn led by Managing Director Rashed Idrees, a former Managing Partner for Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Cambodia with international law firm DFDL. “My team and I are delighted to be part of this new and exciting opportunity,” Rashed said at the time of the launch in August.

The addition of Sabara Law to the Deloitte Legal network continues a frenzied period of jockeying in the Asia legal services sector as the Big Four throw down the gauntlet to the traditional local firms. Immediately prior to the launch of Deloitte Legal International, PwC poached high-profile corporate lawyer Rachel Eng of WongPartnership to launch local law firm Eng & Co. (after earlier adding Joanna Teng-led Teng & Co. to its network), followed immediately by the establishment of Singapore-based Atlas Asia Law as part of the EY’s legal network.

The local and international legal fraternity now however appears to be hitting back against the Big Four in Singapore and beyond – with an attempt to claim a share of the legal consulting and services market. Global law firm HFW recently launched a consulting arm with a focus on Asia, while Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill earlier established a new regulatory consulting practice. Earlier this month Rajah & Tann also acquired Legal Comet, a local legal technology advisory firm specialised in e-discovery.

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